I’ve been thinking a lot about my family today. I guess it’s that time of year. I just picked up groceries to make my mom’s sweet potatoe casserole and my Grandmother’s Mac and Cheese. Its also always a little strange not to see them on Thanksgiving (I’ve stayed here in New York for the past three years) but I was also thinking a lot about them after last night’s interview with Joy Behar.
My parents are really wonderful and supportive of me. They watch what I do even when they don’t get it, they praise me to their friends even they’re not quite sure what they’re praising, they’ve always been my biggest support system and continue to be so to this day but even still, I get a little spooked out by any sort of intimate knowledge they get of me.
Last night, when I watched myself on HLN, I found it insanely uncomfortable to watch…. all the obvious insecurities one gets when watching one’s self were there but also a weird sense of showing, talking, and being a honest side of myself that I usually reserve for my closest friends and strangers….. never my family.
We grew up not talking about things. Boyfriends, girlfriends, hurt feelings, nothing. Unless we were arguing and screaming at each other, or laughing at someone’s joke, feelings weren’t obvious around the Self house. And if they were obvious it was due to the skillful passive aggressive behavior I’ve carried into my near adulthood. Coming out to my parents was so weird and uneventful, it just sorta happened in both instances and was never spoken of again. We still don’t talk about it, and its not just them, its me too. I am scared to open up those scary details about my true self too much….. I know they love me, I know they accept me for everything I am, but just as in the case of my siblings (neither one queer) nothing is said and everything is felt.
Watching the show last night, fully aware that both my mother and father were tuned in, miles and miles away…. along with my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Siblings, who knows who else…. I felt a little more exposed than I’ve ever felt. It was a weird feeling. A good feeling. And scary too. It felt, in some ways, again very classically passive. Telling stories we’ve never acknowledged on national television. I’ve thought about it all day today…. one day I’m gonna be open and strong enough to talk to them about how THEY feel and how I feel. One day that day is gonna come. And it’s gonna feel really good.
I don’t think coming out is the end of the journey. It’s a long one and its just beginning.